Tufa – Mono Lake 1

Tufa - Mono Lake

Tufa – Mono Lake, California, 10/21/2017

~ view larger ~

There’s something about a 760,000 year old, endorheic (no outlet to the sea), saline soda lake with calcium-carbonate spires known as tufa that pulls this photographer in…My iPhone was set for 4:00 am to make a morning capture of Mono Lake, but when I checked the weather it was 20°. I’m dedicated to my craft, but I knew there was no way I was getting out of my toasty sleeping bag until it warmed up. In early afternoon while walking the shoreline, I came upon this arched peninsula of tufa rock reflecting in the water. The water was pale and the reflection faint, but I knew that if I waited for the golden hour, magic would happen. The camera and tripod were locked down just as you see it in the image above allowing me to wait  (while eating empanadas and drinking coconut juice) for the light. By 5:00 pm, this is how it looked, the water deep blue and the reflection almost as detailed as the actual tufa.

Copyright 2017, O. Bisogno Scotti, All Rights Reserved

Nikon D810 DSLR AF NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8D, exposure:  f/6.3, 1/640 sec., ISO 64,  exposure program: Manual Priority, shutter: Mup mode with Electronic Front-Curtain Shutter ReleaseVello Wireless ShutterBoss Timer Remote, Induro Stealth CLT203 carbon fiber tripod, Induro PHQ1 Panhead, capture date and time: 10/21/2017, 5:54 pm, post processing: HDR 32-bit image file.

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2 thoughts on “Tufa – Mono Lake 1

  1. Mother Nature outdid herself by giving you this glorious piece of art to capture.
    Every week I think I have seen the most beautiful, stunning, image ever then you outdo yourself.
    I like the rich blue of the sky, it is a colour that is so deep I feel I could sink into deep meditation just by staring at the water.
    The dead bushes at the shore of the tufa are colourless and plentiful.
    Since this is the golden hour are the tufa a pale colour when it is not being highlighted by the golden hue of the setting sun?
    Off to the right is a bush with a punch of green adding another element to this image.
    Is this tufa near the shore?
    I am wondering because I think I see the bottom of the lake along the lower edge of the image or is it the clouds being reflected in the still, calm water?
    Although, it is in HDR there can’t be clouds because they would be moving can there?
    There is so much detail in the tufa.
    I am wondering that if people were to touch or try to climb them could they be damaged?
    The tufa looks hard with sharp edges that could cut you.
    I love the craggy ruts and holes that I see but I wonder what the other side looks like.
    I see that your signature has taken on the golden glow as well as the tufa.
    Is this a deep lake?
    How tall is the tufa at its height?

    Liked by 1 person

    • You have a lot of good questions so I will take the one by one:

      “Mother Nature outdid herself by giving you this glorious piece of art to capture.”

      Mother Nature continues to give even when she is under attack from governments around the globe, particularly China And the United States.

      “Since this is the golden hour are the tufa a pale colour when it is not being highlighted by the golden hue of the setting sun?”

      Yes they look pale and lifeless midday, nothing spectacular other than their shape. But, art is subjective and I work within my own little art world where it is golden 24/7. That’s the way I see it. It’s my prerogative.

      “Off to the right is a bush with a punch of green adding another element to this image.
      Is this tufa near the shore?”

      This tufa is right off shore, 10′-15′ from the lens. It is desert, but there is greenery, specialized plants that thrive on the salinity of the lake.

      “I am wondering because I think I see the bottom of the lake along the lower edge of the image or is it the clouds being reflected in the still, calm water?”

      You are seeing aquatic plant life and brine shrimp in shallow water along the shoreline.

      “Although, it is in HDR there can’t be clouds because they would be moving can there?”

      Good photographic question! A lot of people would tell you yes, and that would be correct to a degree. It depends on what you envision, and what you decide is the correct shutter speed and amount of time between frames that will get you what you envision for your HDR multiple frame image. For instance, there are clouds but they appear a bit harsh so you make your shutter speed around one second with 5 sec. between 3 frames.The end result is clouds with softer edges. On the other hand, you could make the shutter speed 10 min. with the end result being quite surreal.

      “I am wondering that if people were to touch or try to climb them could they be damaged?”

      They are easily damaged. Limestone is a soft rock “sedimentary”. Also consider that your hands will look like chop meat by the time you reach the top.

      “Is this a deep lake?”

      It was a deep lake, but Mono Lake has been vastly depleted over the years. Most of the tufa spires are now out of the water and crumbling.

      “How tall is the tufa at its height?”

      This one’s about 20′ at it highest point.

      Liked by 1 person

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